Helena Bonham Carter Defends Johnny Depp and J.K. Rowling in New Interview

Actress Helena Bonham Carter voiced her support for both Johnny Depp and J.K. Rowling this weekend in a new interview with London's Sunday Times Magazine. Bonham Carter played the villainous Bellatrix LeStrange in the Harry Potter film franchise and has shared the screen with Depp on many occasions. She voiced her belief that the outrage against both public figures has been largely overblown.

Bonham Carter first said that Depp was "completely vindicated" in his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard earlier this year. She seemed to believe wholeheartedly in Depp's version of events, including his assertion that Heard fabricated her allegations of abuse against him. She now believes that his reputation has been repaired, saying: "I think he's fine now." As for Heard, she suggested that the actress made her accusations against Depp as a way to capitalize on the publicity of the Me Too movement.

"That's the problem with these things – that people will jump on the bandwagon because it's the trend and to be the poster girl for it," Bonham Carter said. She added that she believes Heard "got on that pendulum." However, public opinion is not nearly as unanimous as she suggested, and many movie fans continue to say they will boycott Depp's upcoming projects.

As for Rowling, Bonham Carter defended the author's history of transphobic remarks as a matter of opinion. She said that Rowling "has been hounded" over her op-eds about transgender rights, adding: "It's horrendous, a load of bollocks. I think she has been hounded. It's been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people. She's allowed her opinion, particularly if she's suffered abuse."

Like many of Rowling's casual defenders, Bonham Carter did not seem to know the full extent of Rowling's dealings with the LGBTQ+ community. She referenced Rowling's 2020 essay where she revealed that she is a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault but did not mention Rowling's inclusion of dangerous anti-transgender misinformation in that essay. Bonham Carter did not reference Rowling's ongoing feud with various transgender people and allies in the years since then, and it's worth noting that Bonham Carter does not use Twitter, where Rowling confronts pundits about this topic on a near-weekly basis.

Instead, Bonham Carter said that Rowling did not mean her remarks "aggressively" despite the author weighing in directly on issues like public bathroom access, healthcare and education. As for the many actors from the Harry Potter franchise who have condemned Rowling's remarks, Bonham Carter admitted that she did not agree with her former co-stars but she stopped short of admonishing them.

"Personally, I feel they should let her have her opinions, but I think they're very aware of protecting their own fan base and their generation," she said. "It's hard. One thing with the fame game is that there's an etiquette that comes with it; I don't agree with talking about other famous people."

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Rowling's remarks have been widely condemned by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, who have pointed out that rhetoric like hers can fuel hate crimes – particularly against the disproportionately targeted transgender community. So far, Rowling has not responded publicly to Bonham Carter's defense of her.